When it comes to getting identity theft protection, you have a lot of options. And the more options you have, the choosier you can afford to be.
Which is why looking at certain services might make some people tilt their head in confusion and immediately dismiss them.
Costco’s Complete ID service might be one of those, given that its association with Costco might give an impression of cheapness. After all, their entire brand is built around the concept of savings and buying in bulk, and while some of their store brand products are quite high quality…many others are not.
However, hopefully this will put some of those fears to rest. While not perfect, Costco Complete ID is definitely worth giving a second look, or even a third for many users.
Complete ID is an identity theft protection service that is available only to people who hold a Costco membership. For those not in the know, Costco is a US based wholesale retailer (sometimes referred to as a big box store) with a smattering of other stores worldwide.
They’re largely known for supplying household goods in bulk, and being a somewhat popular spot for small businesses to supply themselves as well. They cultivate a club-like atmosphere with an emphasis on membership and exclusivity.
This extends not just to the stores themselves, but all the other services they offer which do have a separate price, but are available only to members. Complete ID is one of these.
Despite seeming on the surface to be something Costco has made using solely their own resources, it’s actually backed by Experian and uses a lot of their tools.
What Makes Complete ID Unique?
Other than the way its payment scale is kind of variable, and it’s an exclusive product? Nothing, really.
Complete ID is a perfectly competent, if basic, identity theft protection service that provides exactly what you’d expect from a budget-friendly identity theft or fraud protection option. It gives you dark web and data breach monitoring for most of your personal information, and not much else.
The monitoring may lack a lot of breadth or depth, but it makes up for that in its level of accuracy, pulling up a plethora of information that even other options didn’t. The benefit of a narrow focus allows for higher accuracy and more detail.
Middlingly well, I’d say. Complete ID is a fine service on the surface, and when taken as an individual option compares quite favorably in price to cheaper services like IDShield and IdentityForce.
In terms of performance, it’s closer to something like Identity Guard’s Value plan, but I’d say it has a little bit more value there.
Basically, it’s probably never going to be your best choice, particularly if you want deeper, more robust protection but you would probably be happy with it if all you wanted is a basic plan.
However, the equation changes somewhat when you take into account that Complete ID is ONLY available to Costco customers.
That’s $60 to $120 a year, depending on the tier of your membership, and there is no option for a monthly fee. You need to pay that up front.
This means to even try the service for a month you need to front a fairly big chunk of change that you can’t really get back.
This pushes the price up to undesirably high levels, assuming you’re not already a Costco customer.
If you’re already committed to a membership with them, then it’s merely average in terms of both price and performance.
So Is It Worth It?
Put me down as a hard “maybe” on this one. Even under the absolute best circumstances (you have a preexisting Costco Executive membership and only need basic protection) it’s a somewhat lackluster option. Not bad, and it’s impressive how accurate the monitoring is, but you can get a lot more bang for your buck from other budget services like IDShield.
They also offer child protection, one of the saving graces, that’s very cheap.
And if you are looking for something that provides in-depth protection like Identity Guard’s Ultra membership? Look elsewhere.
But it’s far from the worst option on the market, so if you do give it a try you should at least have little cause to regret it.
Let’s compare Costco Complete ID:
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